Mad Cous Disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

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Although mad-cow disease is always fatal, it is not really much of a worry in the United States. There have only been four cases of mad-cow disease ever recorded in the United States. In every case, the United States Department of Agriculture has intervened and recalled tons of beef, 10,400 lbs. in the first case to be exact, in order to insure that the meat did not reach the plates of United States citizens. In Canada, however, there have been 19 cases of mad-cow disease. This differs considerably from that of the United States. The interesting thing about all of the disease is that the first case of mad-cow disease was imported. The first case of mad-cow disease in Canada was from a cow imported from the United Kingdom. Then, the first case of mad-cow disease in the United States was from a cow imported from Canada. The possibility of someone getting the disease from consumption of the meat is also very slim. In Europe, there have been over 200,000 cases of mad-cow disease and only 150 people have died from consuming the infected meat. So, really, the chances of you getting mad-cow disease from just eating the meat is very low. Even with that being said, I still believe that any cow with mad-cow disease should be dealt with accordingly, in other words killed and incinerated in order to stop the disease from spreading. If its meat has already been distributed the meat should immediately be recalled. Now, mad-cow disease is carried by an abnormal protein known as prion. As you now know, mad-cow disease is transmitted through consumption. So, you may be wondering, how is it being transmitted through the infected cows to other cows? The answer is actually strange as well as a little disturbing. There are two ways that is currently b... ... middle of paper ... ...ally best to just put the animal down in order to spare it from more pain and suffering. In cows with mad-cow disease, the area that is most targeted is the brain. The prions enter the brain and start deteriorating the brain. This is also why the disease is referred to scientifically as spongiform, because it causes the brain to look like a sponge with holes and empty caverns throughout the brain of the infected animal. Another targeted areas of a cow with mad-cow disease is the spinal cord. The prions will also cause deterioration of the spinal cord. This is what cause paralyzation in some infected cows. The destruction of the spinal cord causes paralyzation because the prions deteriorate some of the nerves necessary for movement and feeling. Also, the spinal cord is linked so if prions devour one of those links, it would be similar to breaking the animal’s back.

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